WC better in Round 2 of 6A golf tournament

Published 9:42 am Friday, May 5, 2017

TUPELO — Warren Central’s second round at the MHSAA Class 6A state golf tournament went a lot better than the first.

All five of the Vikings’ golfers improved on their first-round efforts, and they posted a team score of 361 in the final round Thursday — 23 shots better than in round one and the biggest improvement of any of the 15 teams in the tournament.

Warren Central finished with a two-round score of 744, which still left them in last place overall. The round-to-round gains, however, left coach Matt Williams proud of his team.

“When you have an eighth-grader and three sophomores, we knew we weren’t going to post numbers that would make everybody’s jaw drop. But as bad as it sounded in the paper, the kids never quit,” Williams said. “We made up some ground. We still had the highest score overall, but we didn’t have the highest score today.”

Warren Central beat division rival Clinton (371) in the final round, and was within six shots of three other teams. Of the 15 teams competing, only seven had better scores in round two than in round one.

Reed Buys was WC’s low man for the second day in a row, shooting an 86 after starting with a 93 on Wednesday. Graham Tweedle had the biggest gain, going from a 101 to a 91.

Taylor Lampkin (95-91), Hartley Sullivan (97-92) and Chance Bishop (98-92) rounded out the roster, with all improving significantly from day one to day two.

“Yesterday the course was hard. The ground was hard and they cut the greens, so they were really hard and fast, and the wind was up,” Williams said. “Today was a totally different golf course. The wind died down and it was wet. It was two different golf courses.”

Among the teams that had a tougher day Thursday than Wednesday were the two leaders. Tupelo was 12 shots worse and Madison Central nine shots.

Tupelo, however, held on to win the state championship by a single stroke, 608-609. It mirrored the Class III girls tournament earlier this week, which Tupelo also won by one shot.

Tupelo, which was playing on its home course, won its 13th state championship overall, and first since 2013. Madison Central had beaten Tupelo by 15 shots for the title last year.

Senior Walker Clayton clinched the victory with a par putt on the 18th hole after he put his tee shot into the rough.

DeSoto Central was third, at 619, and Oak Grove a distant fourth at 641.

Madison Central’s Brice Wilkinson followed up his first-round 71 with another sharp round of even-par 72, for a total of 143 and the individual state championship.

Wilkinson’s Madison Central teammate Benjamin Nelson and Oak Grove’s Hunter Hammett tied for second place, at 147. Tupelo’s Brookes Hudson was fourth with a 148.

Hammett had the low round of the tournament with a 70 on Thursday, but couldn’t overcome his 77 in the first round to make a run at Wilkinson.

Warren Central reached the state tournament for the first time since 2014, and with the entire roster coming back Williams was very optimistic about the future. Bishop is the only junior in the starting lineup, meaning most of the team’s golfers will have two more years to improve and climb the standings.

“It’s a core group that we have that can all get better. We have some other sophomores on the team that can all contribute,” Williams said. “It’s not like we’re graduating everybody and having to replace a bunch of folks.”

Williams added that he was thankful for the support of the players’ parents during a busy week for Warren Central’s golf program. The girls’ team hosted the Class III state tournament Monday and Tuesday, and then the boys turned around and made the long trip to Tupelo Wednesday and Thursday.

“It was a great experience for our boys. We had great parents helping us out, making sure it was a first-class trip all the way. I can’t thank them enough,” Williams said. “The boys and girls had a great run. We couldn’t be more proud of everyone.”

MHSAA Class 6A Boys Tournament
At Tupelo Country Club
Tupelo (TUP) 298-310 608
Madison Central (MC) 300-309 609
DeSoto Central (DC) 313-306 619
Oak Grove (OG) 325-316 641
Starkville (SV) 336-333 669
Northwest Rankin (NWR) 330-341 671
Brandon (BRAN) 331-341 672
Gulfport (GULF) 330-345 675
Pearl (PEARL) 356-340 696
George County (GC) 351-348 699
Biloxi (BIL) 343-357 700
Olive Branch (OB) 352-355 707
Petal (PET) 364-358 722
Clinton (CLINT) 360-371 731
Warren Central (WC) 383-361 744
Note: Hancock (HAN) and Jim Hill (JH) had individual golfers competing, but were not in the team competition.

Brice Wilkinson (MC) 71-72 143
Benjamin Nelson (MC) 73-74 147
Hunter Hammett (OG) 77-70 147
Brookes Hudson (TUP) 72-76 148
Walker Clayton (TUP) 72-78 150
Brooks Jenkins (SV) 74-76 150
Miles Roy (TUP) 77-76 153
Damien Dhossche (MC) 77-77 154
Jacob Lammy (DC) 78-76 154
Brady Scola (DC) 78-76 154
Garrett Moore (DC) 79-75 154
Miles Jackson (BIL) 78-77 155
Tyler Cheslik (DC) 78-79 157
Adam Files (PEARL) 79-79 158
Matt Hendrickson (GULF) 75-86 161
Michael Baxter (OG) 81-80 161
Josh Conner (BRAN) 83-79 162
Tyler Haskins (HAN) 84-78 162
Hamp Fairey (OG) 84-79 163
Sean Trussell (NWR) 79-84 163
Ryan Bell (NWR) 81-82 163
Cy Smith (GC) 78-86 164
Cole Ketchum (BRAN) 83-84 167
Braxton Jenkins (SV) 84-83 167
Robert Burt (BRAN) 80-88 168
Andrew Branch (OB) 82-86 168
Zach Germany (OB) 87-81 168
Zacceus Spann (JH) 88-80 168
Sam Lee (GULF) 84-85 169
Matthew Williams (OG) 83-87 170
John Michael Miller (GULF) 84-86 170
Peyton Seymour (BIL) 87-83 170
Jake Clarke (CLINT) 82-89 171
Jake Watts (PEARL) 86-85 171
Ethan Peeler (HAN) 89-82 171
Sean Smith (GC) 88-84 172
River Maskew (GC) 87-86 173
Zach Buntin (SV) 89-85 174
Cole Hinnantt (PET) 90-84 174
Alex Branch (OB) 82-93 175
Bryce Bridges (BRAN) 85-90 175
Hunter Bell (NWR) 87-88 175
Chandler Skinner (GULF) 87-88 175
Jordan Long (PEARL) 90-85 175
Alan Graves (CLINT) 85-93 178
Kohen Hunt (SV) 89-89 178
Reed Buys (WC) 93-86 179
Nate King (PET) 91-89 180
Chris Baker (BIL) 86-96 182
Landon Draughn (PET) 91-91 182
Taylor Lampkin (WC) 95-91 186
Gage McNatt (PET) 92-94 186
Hartley Sullivan (WC) 97-92 189
Chance Bishop (WC) 98-92 190
Noah Maskew (GC) 98-92 190
Graham Tweedle (WC) 101-91 192
Michael Dixon (BIL) 92-101 193
Ryan Long (CLINT) 98-95 193
Ben Beard (OB) 101-95 196